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Part 3: Third Party Ad Serving Basics

Part 3: Third Party Ad Serving Basics


MAILE OHYE: Hi. My name is Maile Ohye. I’m a senior support
engineer at Google. In this third and final video
in our series on third party ad serving, we’ll take a closer
look at the nuts and bolts of how ad servers actually
serve the ads we see. Let’s walk through
the process. First, our fictitious
advertiser, Sports Gear, has to place all of its ads
into its ad server. The ad server then creates
tags containing technical instructions on things like the
ad size and where the ad should be located
on the web page. The tags are sent to the
publisher, along with information about Sports Gear’s
ad campaign, like the number of times to show each ad
and whether to target the ad to a certain age,
gender, interest, or geographic location. Next, our fictitious publisher,
the New York Journal, puts the tags
and instructions into its own ad server. So all of Sports Gear’s ad
instructions go into the New York Journal’s ad server. But the sports ads themselves
stay on Sports Gear’s ad server. All of the New York Journal’s
other advertisers also send the New York Journal tags and
instructions for their ad campaigns, but keep the ads themselves on their ad servers. So once the advertiser’s ad
server and the publisher’s ad server are ready, they look
something like this. What’s in Sports Gear’s
ad server? Its inventory of ads. What’s on the publisher’s
side? The tags and instructions from
the advertisers, including those from Sports Gear. So what happens next? Well, let’s say I come along and
decide I want to check out the New York Journal’s
sports section. I type the New York Journal’s
URL into my browser. And my browser makes a request,
saying, I want this web page from the New
York Journal. When this request reaches the
New York Journal, its server then sends the page I
want to my browser. As my browser loads the page,
it understands that the page contains content, but no ad. So how does my browser
get the ad? My browser follows the
instructions provided by the New York Journal, which tells
it to ask for an ad from the New York Journal’s ad server. In this case, the New York
Journal’s ad server decides to show a Sports Gear ad. Since the New York Journal’s
ad server doesn’t have any actual ads, it instructs
my browser, through the information in a tag, to get
an ad from Sports Gear’s ad server, which is housing all of
Sports Gear’s ad inventory. Sports Gear’s ad server has to
figure out which ad to show. A cookie helps it do that. How? Well, at the same time the New
York Journal’s ad server sent my browser content, it also
sent my browser a cookie. In this case, a cookie is a
small file that travels back and forth between my browser
and both the publisher’s ad server and the advertiser’s
ad server during the ad serving process. A cookie’s job is to
identify a browser. Each cookie has an ID, usually
a combination of letters and numbers that, in this
case, identifies my browser to ad servers. This allows them to keep track
of the ads that are shown in my browser, so they can do
things like control the number of times I see a given
ad, and also allows them to target ads. So let’s go back to Sports
Gear’s ad server having to choose which ad I see. It may be the case, for example,
that their basketball shoes are sold out. So the basketball shoe
ads are ruled out. Or maybe it’s too soon for
the football season. So the football ads are
ruled out, as well. Or it could be that Sports Gear
wants to target its ads to a specific age or
interest segment. So it chooses a Sports Gear
golf ad because the cookie allows it to associate my
browser with a 30 year old female golfer. Now that we’ve got a Sports
Gear golf ad, what happens next? Well, when Sports Gear’s ad
server sends the Sports Gear golf ad to my browser, it also
sends along a cookie that allows it to identify
my browser. This allows Sports Gear’s ad
server to do things like track how many Sports Gear ads my
browser has been shown. After this entire process,
I finally see a Sports Gear golf ad. Here it is. A lot goes on in the second or
two it takes for a web page to load in my browser. And you can see all this
activity happening if you check out the bottom left of
your screen as the URL requests are processed. You’ll see that, in the course
of a few seconds, your browser is sending requests to one or
more ad servers, even though you never went to these
ad servers’ sites. And this whole process is done automatically by computer servers. No people are involved
in selecting or serving display ads. That’s how it can all
happen so quickly. So I hope this video series
gives you a better idea of how a third party ad
serving works. Thanks for watching, and thanks
for using Google.

12 comments

no wonder abp speeds up things so much! the website loads in like a 500ms then the adds go through three hops just to show up.

why cant you agree to third party match anymore? I like doing like AMV but it doesn't say anymore "matched third party"

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